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  • Writer's pictureSahil Chadha

How Sourcers Spice Up Your Recruitment Recipe: Demystifying the Roles

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

In the intricate dance of the modern job market, it’s all too common for the roles in the recruitment process to be mixed up, like a cocktail order on a bustling Friday night. We’ve all been there - “Is it a sourcer or a recruiter who does what again?” Well, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’re here to untangle the threads and shed some light on a rather enigmatic character in the hiring world: the sourcer.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the world of sourcers, including freelance sourcers, temporary sourcers, and project-based sourcers, their roles, and how they differ from recruiters. We’ll also explore the value they bring to the hiring process, including contract recruiting, freelance recruiting, temporary recruiting, project-based recruiting, and remote recruiting, and provide tips on how to excel in this intriguing profession.

What is a Sourcer?

A sourcer is a highly skilled professional responsible for the initial phase of the recruitment process. Their primary duty is to identify and engage potential candidates who may be a good fit for a job opening within an organization. Sourcers use various tools and strategies to source candidates, such as searching through online databases, social media platforms, and professional networks. Freelance sourcers, temporary sourcers, and project-based sourcers often provide their expertise to organizations in a flexible, on-demand capacity.

What is a Contract Sourcer?

A contract sourcer is a sourcer who operates on a temporary or project-specific basis. These individuals, including freelance sourcers, bring their specialized skills to the table to assist organizations with high-volume hiring or to fill positions in niche industries. Contract sourcers possess the same skill set as in-house sourcers but work for a predetermined period, allowing organizations to flexibly scale their recruiting efforts.

What is the Role of a Sourcer?

The role of a sourcer, whether they are freelance sourcers, temporary sourcers, or project-based sourcers, is multifaceted. Their primary responsibilities include:

Candidate Sourcing: Sourcers proactively seek out potential candidates by leveraging online resources, databases, and networking.

Initial Screening: They conduct an initial evaluation of candidates to determine their suitability for a given position, considering factors like skills, experience, and cultural fit.

Engagement: Sourcers, including remote sourcers, engage with candidates through outreach, providing information about job opportunities and assessing their interest.

Building Talent Pipelines: They establish and maintain a pool of potential candidates for future hiring needs, ensuring a steady stream of qualified talent. This can be particularly valuable in freelance recruiting, temporary recruiting, project-based recruiting, and remote recruiting scenarios.

Sourcer vs. Recruiter?

Sourcers and recruiters, whether they are freelance recruiters, contract recruiters, or in-house recruiters, are both essential components of the hiring process, but they play distinct roles:

Sourcer: As mentioned earlier, sourcers, including remote sourcers, focus on identifying and engaging potential candidates. Their primary goal is to fill the top of the recruitment funnel with qualified leads. This includes contract sourcing and freelance sourcing as well.

Recruiter: Recruiters take the baton from sourcers, managing the rest of the hiring process. They conduct in-depth interviews, negotiate job offers, and guide candidates through the hiring process, ensuring a successful placement. This includes contract recruiting and freelance recruiting as well.

Is a Sourcer Higher than a Recruiter, or Is a Sourcer Below a Recruiter?

The perception of hierarchy in the recruitment field can vary widely. Some may consider sourcers, whether they are temporary sourcers, freelance sourcers, or project-based sourcers, as an entry point into the profession, while others view sourcers as specialists in talent identification. It’s important to remember that both roles are equally important in the hiring process, with each contributing unique skills and expertise.




Primary Role

Identify and source potential candidates for job openings.

Manage the entire recruitment process, from sourcing to hiring.


1. Conduct proactive candidate searches. 2. Build candidate pipelines. 3. Screen resumes and profiles.

1. Create job descriptions. 2. Post job ads. 3. Screen and interview candidates. 4. Extend job offers. 5. Manage onboarding.


Finding and attracting passive candidates who may not be actively looking for a job.

Managing and engaging with candidates who have applied or shown interest in a specific job posting.

Skill Set

Strong research and sourcing skills. Familiarity with Boolean search techniques. Ability to identify and engage with potential candidates.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills. Interviewing and assessment skills. Negotiation skills. Ability to manage the hiring process.

Relationship Building

Initial contact with candidates to assess interest and suitability.

Building and maintaining relationships with both candidates and hiring managers.


Typically involved in the early stages of recruitment, before candidates formally apply for a job.

Involved throughout the entire recruitment process, from job posting to onboarding.


Success is measured by the size and quality of candidate pipelines.

Success is measured by the quality of hires and time-to-fill positions.


Collaborates closely with recruiters and hiring managers to align sourcing efforts with hiring needs.

Collaborates with hiring managers and HR teams to understand job requirements and make hiring decisions.

Job Offer Process

Not directly involved in making job offers or negotiating compensation.

Directly involved in extending job offers, negotiating salary, and finalizing employment terms.

Why Hire a Sourcer?

Hiring a sourcer, whether they are freelance sourcers, contract sourcers, or temporary sourcers, can offer several advantages to organizations:

  • Efficiency: Sourcers streamline the recruitment process by pre-qualifying candidates, allowing recruiters, including freelance recruiters and contract recruiters, to focus on the most promising prospects.

  • Cost Savings: Sourcers can be more cost-effective than recruiters, especially for high-volume hiring needs.

  • Access to Passive Candidates: Sourcers excel at reaching out to passive candidates who may not be actively job searching but are open to new opportunities.

  • Talent Pipeline: Building a talent pipeline ensures a consistent flow of potential candidates, reducing the time-to-fill for critical positions. This is especially valuable in freelance recruiting, temporary recruiting, project-based recruiting, and remote recruiting.

How Can I Be a Good Sourcer?

If you aspire to excel in the role of a sourcer, whether as a freelance sourcer, temporary sourcer, or project-based sourcer, here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Master Sourcing Techniques: Familiarize yourself with advanced search operators, Boolean logic, and various sourcing tools to efficiently find candidates.

  • Develop Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is key when engaging with potential candidates. Craft compelling messages that resonate with candidates' career aspirations, especially in remote recruiting scenarios.

  • Stay Updated: Keep abreast of industry trends, job market changes, and the latest sourcing technologies to remain competitive in your role.

  • Build Relationships: Establish and nurture relationships with candidates, even if they are not an immediate fit for a position. You never know when they might be a perfect match for a future opportunity, whether in freelance recruiting, temporary recruiting, project-based recruiting, or remote recruiting.

  • Embrace Feedback: Continuously seek feedback from recruiters, including freelance recruiters and contract recruiters, and hiring managers to refine your sourcing strategies and improve your performance.


In conclusion, sourcers, including freelance sourcers, temporary sourcers, and project-based sourcers, play a crucial role in the recruitment process, bridging the gap between identifying potential.

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